Skip to main content

Wayfaring Stranger Hymn Lyrics and History

Origin of Wayfaring Stranger


This song has been around for over 200 hundred years blessing millions of Americans in both the secular and the religious world.

It is difficult if not impossible to pinpoint the exact origin of this North American folk song.

We have some historians saying that they can trace this song to the 1780s while others trace to the early 1800s.

Who Wrote Wayfaring Stranger


The jury is still out when it comes to the composer of the Wayfaring Stranger. Some people think that it is a reworked Negro spiritual.

Some think that it could have come the Portuguese colonialists.

Others think that it could be a reworked native song.

The fact is this song has now become one of the most loved gospel folk songs in America.

Many Versions of Wayfaring Stranger and Use by Secular Musicians


As with many folk songs, there are so many versions of this hymn floating around in America.

It has been adopted by musicians of all sorts of backgrounds to present their message to the world.

Prominent and famous musicians have made this folk song their own.

In the 1940s Burl Ives made "Wayfaring Stranger" a signature song in his album.

Other musicians such as Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, and Johnny Cash have given their take on this hymn in their albums.

The latest to play around this folk song has been British pop star, Ed Sheeran. He has popularized a near Acappella-and-vocal version of "Wayfaring Stranger" on YouTube.

Wayfaring Stranger Hymn Original Lyrics


Below are the lyrics of one of the versions of Wayfaring Stranger.


1 I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger,
I’m trav’ling through this world below;
There is no sickness, toil, nor danger,
In that bright world to which I go.
I’m going there to see my father,
I’m going there no more to roam;
I’m just a going over Jordan,
I’m just a going over home.

2 I know dark clouds will gather o’er me,
I know my pathway’s rough and steep;
But golden fields lie out before me,
Where weary eyes no more shall weep.
I’m going there to see my mother,
She said she’d meet me when I come;
I’m just a going over Jordan,
I’m just a going over home.

3 I want to sing salvations story,
In concert with the blood-washed band;
I want to wear a crown of glory,
When I get home to that good land.
I’m going there to see my brothers,
They passed before me one by one;
I’m just a going over Jordan,
I’m just a going over home.

4 I’ll soon be free from every trial,
This form will rest beneath the sod;
I’ll drop the cross of self-denial,
And enter in my home with God.
I’m going there to see my Saviour,
Who shed for me His precious blood;
I’m just a going over Jordan,
I’m just a going over home.



For more links to pages on this blog with some more hymn stories and lyrics visit here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul Hymn

Story Behind Heaven Came Down  Heaven Came Down is a hymn that is of recent origin as it was written in 1961 by John W Peterson. It draws its inspiration from a testimony delivered by an old man named Jim at Montrose Bible Conference Grounds, Pennsylvania. During the testimony talked of his conversion experience. In the testimony he used the phrase, "It seemed like Heaven came down and glory filled my soul." It is this phrase that inspired John W Pearson to write a song using this phrase later that week.  John W Peterson wrote over a thousand hymns but it is this song that has touched and continues to touch millions of Christians all over the world. He died on September 20, 2006, at the age of 84 after suffering from prostate cancer. It is so sweet to entrust and surrender our lives to our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. Heaven does literally come down into our hearts when we do that. John W Peterson Heaven Came Down and Glory Filled My Soul

Popular and Old Hymns Lyrics and History

This blog exists to share the history and lyrics of popular hymns and old hymns that people have come to love over the years. It is only when you go behind what led to the authors writing these songs that you start to appreciate the message of these songs. While preaching is still the most effective way of spreading the gospel, Christian music has helped in "seasoning"  the presentation of the gospel. It has in some cases even led people to Christ on its own. I hope that this blog will through the stories behind these old and popular hymns help us to draw closer to Christ. As we see the experience of these writers we will appreciate more these hymns. I am a believer in simple and not complicated Christian music. I prefer music that focuses on the message rather than the instruments used. I am not a fan of drowning the voice in the noise of the instruments. I want the people to hear the message of the songs. Christian music for me is not about entertainment b

On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand (My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less) Lyrics and Story

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Else / On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand History My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less or On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand is the best-known hymn of Edward Mote who wrote it in 1834. The original title of this hymn was, "The Immutable Basis for a Sinner's Hope". Edward Mote was the pastor of Rehoboth Baptist Church in Horsham West Sussex in the United Kingdom. It looks as if the inspiration for this hymn came from Christ parable of the wise and foolish builders. In the parable, Christ speaks of the foolish builder who built his house on sinking sand while the wise builder built his on solid rock. As you would imagine a storm easily swept away the one built on sand. Edward Mote - On Christ the Solid Rock Christ is the solid rock upon which we can build our house of faith. Any other foundation is like one on sand and will ultimately fail. On the authorship of this song Mr. Mote's explanation, communicated to the Gospel Herald, is